Miniature pasted on an album leaf. “Portrait of Sultan Ali Adil Shah I of Bijapur”
India, Deccan, Bijapur; c. 1570
Leaf: 33.3 × 24.2 cm
As the fifth ruler in the dynasty, Ali Adil Shah I (1558-1579) succeeded in expanding Bijapur’s territory considerably. He entered into an alliance with the other Muslim sultanates in the northern Deccan, and in 1565, they jointly defeated vast Vijayanagar, most of which came under Bijapur’s control. There was, however, a political dichotomy between Bijapur and this Hindu empire in the south. The Muslim sultanates in the Deccan were moreover often at war among themselves.
In art, Hindu and Muslim culture exerted a major mutual influence in Bijapur and the other sultanates, something that is also reflected in the magnificent dagger that Ali Adil Shah I wears in this miniature. Its hilt is formed by several animals in a style indebted to Hindu sculpture.
A closely related dagger, inv.no. 36/1997, can be found here.
Inv. no. 6/2013